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Caged Heat Thursday

Love the modern club jazz blowing through the Graham Center right now.

On the presence of running back Jakhari Gore, FIU coach Ron Turner said, "We let him back out. Each one is on a case-by-case bas. We felt it was best to bring him in so we brought him in." 

E.J. Hilliard fumbled twice in 9-on-9 drills (no wide receivers or cornerbacks) as they worked on the running game. Hilliard later hit Dominique Rhymes deep behind Randy Harvey on a beautiul pitch-leap-and-catch play. But the catch of the day came via the hands and concentration of sophomore wide receiver DeAndre Jasper. Keeping focused on a bomb through safety Demarkus Perkins' mistimed leap, Jasper grasped it and held on while colliding with Rhymes.

Of the two freshman quarterbacks, Israel Paopao looks less jittery than Travis Wright. Paopao couldn't get a break during 7-on-7 drills today, however. Once the ball slipped from his hand, Football Follies-style, as he cocked to throw. His next pass arced beautifully over 40 yards before going through sophomore wide receiver Raymond Jackson's hands.

Freshman cornerback Brad Hyman-Muhammad and linebacker Michael Wakefield picked off passes in 7-on-7s. Wakefield got Jake Medlock, although it's unclear whether the receiver cut off his route too soon.

Redshirt junior center Michael Montero, who had been working with the first team, wore the orange injured jersey Thursday. Donald Senat took his place.

(Can't the school get Home Depot to sponsor those jerseys? Seems a natural connection. Injuries mean the body needs repair, you go to Home Depot when stuff around the house needs repairing...there's a dollar to be made there).

Sophomore punter Chris Ayers had a "mine's longer" day compared to freshman Karson Dietrich during practice of short snap punts (punts from inside the 5) and regular long snap punts. From the 3, Ayers got off punts of 39, 47 and 56 yards. Ayers also slammed out a 52-yarder from the 24. Dietrich's best of the day was a 46-yarder from the 24.

Among the kickers, Belen redshirt freshman Sergio Sroka was wide right from 33 off the left hash mark, good from 37 (left hash) and 43 (right hash) and short from 47 (left hash). Freshman Austin Taylor was good from 33 (middle) and 37 (right hash). Freshman Cody Hodgens was good from 43, short from 47. 

As practice wound down, February signee Chris Flaig moseyed onto the field in shorts and striped polo shirt. The offensive lineman from Vero Beach High watched some linemen do some post-practice work, then headed over to talk with fellow freshman Vero alumnus Dietrich.

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